Robert Nelson, Jr.’s a “ball hawk,” which will fit him in perfectly with rest of Cardinals secondary
TEMPE, Ariz. – Robert Nelson, Jr.’s time with the Cleveland Browns didn’t work the way he wanted them to, with them letting him go in early September, but life has a funny way of taking your down paths you really don’t want to go down.
“It was tough man,” Nelson, Jr. said. “It was probably the toughest point in my professional career, because I thought it was over. Suffering a hamstring injury, and just building a relationship with those guys in Cleveland, and just coming to Arizona. I just had to pray about it. I prayed about it, and I said, ‘God, if it’s meant for me to go out there, then just show me the way, and I’m going to follow you,’ and that’s what He did.”
In Nelson, Jr.’s case, one door closing meant another door opening with the Arizona Cardinals, and he was more than willing to cross that threshold and seize the moment, which he has now that he’s a member of Arizona’s active roster.
Cornerback Cariel Brooks suffering a high-ankle sprain opened that door for Nelson, Jr., and head coach Bruce Arians made the “easy roster move,” and slid Nelson, Jr. in.
It was more than just the team needing a fresh body to fill out the 53 man roster; for Arians, it was a no-brainer putting Nelson, Jr. in there because he saw a lot out of him while he put in work on the practice squad.
“He’s (Nelson, Jr.) got good cover skills. He’s got good speed. It’s a matter of learning the defense and whether or not he’s active or not,” Arians said.
We’ve all been through situations where we leave one place, whether it be a job or what have you, and we go to another, and we have to get used to new people, and make new friends, and build new relationships. It’s not easy. Nelson, Jr. had to experience that first hand once he arrived back in Arizona and he entered the Cardinals locker room.
“It was hard, just grinding, starting all over again, (and) building relationships with these guys, (the) coaches, and the whole staff here,” Nelson Jr. said. “Man, I’m just overwhelmed right now, because my dreams are continuing to come true through God, and I really believe that.”
The great thing about Nelson, Jr.’s situation is that he slid right in with the perfect group of players in the secondary. There’s so much leadership and experience in that part of the locker room, that Nelson, Jr. can’t help but benefit from all the knowledge they drop on him.
Nelson, Jr. says the guys laid it out to him perfectly on how things run in the secondary group right from Day One.
“They told me right off (the) bat, ‘Listen, these are the rules,’ so I just listened to them,” Nelson, Jr. said. “Once they told me the rules, I just started listening, then I started asking questions afterwards: ‘Can I do this, can I do that, is this acceptable, what time do we have to be at this?’ I’m following their lead.”
“We got a great guys man. You learn from those guys every day,” Nelson, Jr. said. “They’re vets, (they have) great technique, they took me under their wing, accepted me, and I’m just thankful for that. They just teach me and encourage me every day to go hard.”
Nelson, Jr. held strong to his faith in God, and it did not fail him. He takes that faith and belief in God, and he implements it every day in practice, and he’s looking forward to showing the world just who Robert Nelson, Jr. is and what he can do for the Cardinals.
“I’m a Man of God. I’m scrappy guy,” Nelson, Jr. said. “Shoot, I play bigger than I am, I’m gonna tell you that. I’m what? 5’10 & ½, 180 (pounds). I’m gonna play like a run a 4-1 (40-yard dash), (and weigh) 225 (pounds). I’m a ball hawk; I’m gonna get it, but I’m humble at the same time. I don’t talk on the field, I don’t talk trash, I just handle business; that’s all I do.”
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